Lumbini is famous in the world for being the sacred site of Lord Buddha’s birth. Today, it is a small village on Indo-Nepal border near Sonauli in Nepal. After a period of 300 years since Mahaparinirvana of Buddha, Ashoka visited Lumbini and erected a pillar there. The pillar although damaged, but its remains are still there.
The main area is known as the “Sacred Garden.” It only takes a couple of hour to see everything. Most people, who come here, visit for the day from Bhairawa. The best time to visit Lumbini is the early morning or late afternoon, and the hot mid-afternoon is best avoided.
Places To Visit
The Rummendei Pillar:
Ashoka is the most well-known king of the Maurya dynasty. He converted to Buddhism and spent the rest of his life propagating his dharma (law). Ashoka once visited Lumbini, the town where Prince Siddhartha, called Buddha, was born.
He erected a stele commemorating the event. It is known as the Rummendei pillar. It is 22 feet tall and an inscription in five lines states that it stands in the area where Siddhartha Gautama was born.
Maya Devi Temple :
The most important temple at Lumbini is the Maya Devi Temple; Maya Devi Temple marks the spot where Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama in around 563BC. It is enclosed by the brick foundations of monasteries and ancient temples. In the sacred garden you’ll find the ancient ruins of stupas, pillar of Ashoka and maroon- and saffron-robed monks congregating under a sprawling Bodhi (pipal) tree decorated with prayer flags.
Niglihawa is a notable archaeological site which lies approximately 7 km of Taulihawa where the remains of broken Ashokan Pillar lie close to a large pond. Emperor Ashoka built a stupa and set up a pillar. It is a 15 feet tall pillar with inscriptions on its upper part. It is considered that Kanakmuni Buddha was born and enlightened here. The Ashokan Pillar attests that Emperor Ashoka enlarged the stupa enshrining the relics of the Kanakmuni Buddha.
Sagarhawa is placed approximately 12 km north of Taulihawa. It is the forest site where in 1895 the remains of an ancient pond were excavated. Archaeologists have recognized this place as the “Palace of the Massacre of the Shakyas”. The remnants of this ancient place lie on the banks of the large rectangular pond known as Lumbu Sagar in Niglihawa Village.
Aroarakot is located around 10 km of Taulihawa, there is a rectangular barricaded area known as Arourakot. The protected area is identified by the famous Indian archaeologist P.C. Mukharji as the natal town of Kanakmuni Buddha. Remains of ancient moat and brick fortification around the Kot can still be clearly located. A brick lined will is seen to the south and an elevated mound towards the northwest corner.
How to Reach Lumbini
By Air: Bhairahawa airport in Nepal (BWA), also known as Siddhartha Nagar is the nearest airport from Lumbini which is 22 km away and it has flights from Kathmandu. From Indian side Gorakhpur airport (GPO) is the nearest airport from Kushinagar which is 50 km away and it has flights from Delhi.
By Train: Gorakhpur railway station (GKP) in India is the nearest station from Lumbini which is 124 kms away and it is well connected to stations like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Lucknow.
By Road: Distances